With more than 60,000 units in the pipeline the build to rent revolution is well and truly here according to the British Property Federation.
A number of purpose-built developments across the UK are now fast approaching completion and from an investor’s perspective it will be important to see how these developments are managed. Low operating costs will be crucial to yield good returns but it will be equally as important to offer good levels of service so that tenants stay put and drive regular revenues.
One of the key features of these purpose-built developments is having areas where people can socialise and build friendships. Creating an environment where a community can be built plays a big part in tenants staying on.
In the construction of these developments there has been quite a lot of focus on how similar developments have evolved in the US. The so-called ‘build-to-rent’ sector’ is a lot more mature in the US and whilst gyms and swimming pools feature heavily in UK developments, it will be a long time before we see things such as golf simulators and pet spas (if indeed we ever do), which can be found in various US developments.
The emergence of new technology will also play a significant part in driving both service and cost savings for investors. Features such as smart meters, keyless entry and fault reporting through smartphone apps will become standard for many of these developments.
Build to rent is an evolving but increasingly significant player in the property market and there is a ready supply of tenants eager to fill them.